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Lena Edlund
Associate Professor
Department of Economics
Columbia University · MC 3308
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
le93 [at] columbia [dot] edu

c.v.  vitae     columbia  economics


  • "It's the Phone, Stupid: Mobiles and Murder"
  • (joint with Cecilia Machado)
    NBER Working Paper w25883, May, 2019.

  • "Bright Minds, Big Rent: Gentrification and the Rising Returns to Skill"
  • (joint with Cecilia Machado and Michaela Sviatchi)
    NBER Working Paper w21729, November 16, 2015.
    Featured in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg View, and The Huffington Post.

    Published or Accepted

  • "Cousin Marriage is not Choice: Muslim Marriage and Underdevelopment"
    The American Economic Review, P&P May 2018, vol. 108, no. 2, pp. 353-357.

  • "An Adaptive Significance of Morning Sickness? Trivers-Willard and Hyperemesis Gravidarum"
  • (joint with Douglas Almond, Marten Palme and Michael Joffe)
    accepted 2016 Economics and Human Biology
    Featured in New Scientist, and Daily Mail.

  • "How the Other Half Lived: Marriage and Emancipation in the Age of the Pill"
  • (joint with Cecilia Machado)
    2015 European Economic Review
    Full version (with Appendix Tables)

  • "Domestic Partnership:What a Difference a Yay Makes"
  • (joint with Lina Alden, Mats Hammarstedt and Mike Mueller Smith)
    2015 Demography
    Press coverage: Time

  • "The Surplus Girls of China and the Kindness of Strangers?"
  • (joint with YuYu Chen, Hongbin Li and Avi Ebenstein)
    2015 Population Studies

  • "The Role of Paternity Presumption and Custodial Rights for Understanding Marriage"
  • October 2013, Vol 80, Issue 320, pp 650-669

  • "Son Preference and the Persistence of Culture: Evidence from Asian Immigrants to Canada"
  • (joint with Douglas Almond and Kevin Milligan)
    March 2013 pp. 75-95.
    The Population and Development Review

  • "Sex Ratios and Crime: Evidence from China"
  • (joint with Junjian Yi, Hongbin Li and Junsen Zhang)
    December 2013, Vol. 95, No. 5: 15201534.
    The Review of Economics and Statistics
    Click here for the data used.

  • "Chernobyl's subclinical legacy: Prenatal exposure to radioactive fallout and school outcomes in Sweden"
  • (joint with Douglas Almond and Marten Palme)
    November 2009, pp. 1730-1732.
    The Quarterly Journal of Economics
    Earlier versions: NBER Working Paper no. 13347 and Columbia University Working Paper
    Commented on in Viewpoint article: ``Radiation, retardation and the developing brain: time is the crucial variable"
    by Richard S Nowakowski, Nancy L Hayes Acta Paediatrica 2008, May, pages 527–531.
    Popular press: Chemistry World , The Register, New York Times Magazine, Sept. 16, 2007

  • "Son Biased Sex Ratios in the US 2000 Census"
  • (joint with Douglas Almond)
    April 15, 2008 vol. 105, no. 15, pp. 5681-5682.
    Press coverage: NPR -- All Things Considered (interview with Michele Norris),
    (including the New York Times, Herald Tribune, LA Times, Boston Globe),
    Times of India , CBC Canada , Slate, Boston Globe Op-Ed, The Oakland Tribune,
    CNN (video),

  • "Women, Wealth, and Mobility"
  • (joint with Wojciech Kopczuk)
    March 2009, pp. 146-178.
    The American Economic Review

  • "Trivers-Willard at Birth and One Year: Evidence from U.S. Natality Data 1983-2001"
    (joint with Douglas Almond)
    (2007) 274, 2491-2496.
    The Proceedings of the Royal Society: Series B
    Press coverage: Daily Telegraph

  • "Marriage: Past, Present, Future?"
    CESifo Economic Studies December 2006, vol. 52, no. 4, pp. 621-639.

  • "Hermaphroditism: What's not to Like?"
  • (joint with Evelyn Korn)
    7 April 2007, vol. 245, no. 3, pp. 520-527.
    The Journal of Theoretical Biology

  • "Individual vs. Parental Consent in Marriage: Implications for Intra-household Resource Allocation and Growth"
    (Joint with Nippe Lagerlof) Shorter version in
    The American Economic Review, P&P May 2006, vol. 96, no. 2, pp. 304-307.

  • "The Price of Marriage: Net vs. Gross Flows and the South Indian Dowry Debate"
    The Journal of the European Economic Association, P&P April-May 2006, vol. 4, no. 2-3, pp. 542-551.

  • "Sex and the City"
    The Scandinavian Journal of Economics March 2005, vol. 107 issue 1, pp. 25-44.

  • "Unmarried Parenthood and Redistributive Politics" (with Rohini Pande and Laila Haider)
    The Journal of the European Economic Association vol. 3, no. 1 (January 2005), pp. 95-119.

  • "Why have Women Become Left-Wing: the Political Gender Gap and the Decline in Marriage" (with Rohini Pande)
    The Quarterly Journal of Economics August 2002, vol. 117, pp. 917-961.

  • "A Theory of Prostitution" (with Evelyn Korn)
    The Journal of Political Economy February 2002, vol. 110, pp. 181-214.
    Third most downloaded paper September 2002: LogEc
    For a recent write up ABC News (May 2006). Also, see Forbes (Feb 2006), The Idea Shop (May 2004).
    Featured in Economic Intuition, fall 2001; and BusinessWeek, March 11, 2002

  • "Marriage Squeeze Interpretation of Dowry Inflation: A Comment"
    The Journal of Political Economy December 2000, vol. 108, pp. 1327-1333.

  • "Son Preference, Sex Ratios and Marriage Patterns"
    The Journal of Political Economy December 1999, vol. 107, pp. 1275-1304.
    Featured in Economic Intuition, spring 2000.


  • "The African Slave Trade and the Curious Case of General Polygyny"
  • (joint with Hyejin Ku)

  • "Beggar-Thy-Women: Foreign Brides and the Domestic Front -- The Case of Taiwan"
  • (joint with Elaine Liu and Jin-Tan Liu)
    In progress

  • "Should I Stay or Should I Go? Single Motherhood Revisited"
  • (joint with Paola Valenti)
    In progress

  • "Son Preference, Sex Selection and Economic Development: Theory and Evidence from South Korea"
  • (joint with Chulhee Lee)
    Columbia University Discussion Paper No.: 0910-04, October 2009.

  • "The Wages of Sin"
  • (joint with Joseph Engelberg and Christopher A. Parsons)
    Columbia University Discussion Paper No.: 0809-16, June 4, 2009.

  • "Why are Immature Males and Females So Alike?"
  • "Household Structure and Child Outcomes: Nuclear vs. Extended Families -- Evidence from Bangladesh"
  • (Joint with Aminur Rahman, UCL).

  • "Implications of Marriage Institutions for Redistribution and Growth"
  • (Joint with Nippe Lagerlof) (formerly "Growth: What's Love Got to do with It?").

    Mater semper certa est, pater est, quem nuptiae demonstrant
    Roman dictum

  • "Marriage and Emancipation in the Age of the Pill"
  • (joint with Cecilia Machado)
    CEPR Discussion Paper No.: 7485, October 2009.